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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First Go at Sketchup, what a cool program!

I have always liked CAD programs but have used them very little. I was an engineering major for a short time in college and took a few technical drawing classes, which I loved. I always thought it would be neat to own some sort of CAD program but never bought one. I think it is great that Google now offers one for free! I had never heard of Sketchup before I found LumberJocks.

Anyway, I am building a new router table for my Incra fence+positioner, so I thought I would give it a go. The program was amazingly easy to use and navigate. I am still learning some of the advanced features but I am already getting pretty fast at building models.

I am glad I was able to use Sketchup for this project. I built and rebuilt the virtual model several times to find out what worked and didn't work before I came up with a final design. Normally my design would have just been sketched on a notepad. If I had done that I would have had some serious problems. Anyway, when I worked all the bugs out, the final design turned out to be almost identical to the one that "mski" posted on my Incra blog, as well as the link he referred to. (Thanks, mski.)

I guess I learned my lesson of trying to re-invent the wheel.

So here is my first Sketchup Drawing of the Router Table I plan to build:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
First Go at Sketchup, what a cool program!

I have always liked CAD programs but have used them very little. I was an engineering major for a short time in college and took a few technical drawing classes, which I loved. I always thought it would be neat to own some sort of CAD program but never bought one. I think it is great that Google now offers one for free! I had never heard of Sketchup before I found LumberJocks.

Anyway, I am building a new router table for my Incra fence+positioner, so I thought I would give it a go. The program was amazingly easy to use and navigate. I am still learning some of the advanced features but I am already getting pretty fast at building models.

I am glad I was able to use Sketchup for this project. I built and rebuilt the virtual model several times to find out what worked and didn't work before I came up with a final design. Normally my design would have just been sketched on a notepad. If I had done that I would have had some serious problems. Anyway, when I worked all the bugs out, the final design turned out to be almost identical to the one that "mski" posted on my Incra blog, as well as the link he referred to. (Thanks, mski.)

I guess I learned my lesson of trying to re-invent the wheel.

So here is my first Sketchup Drawing of the Router Table I plan to build:

Gizmodyne,

I really don't mean to sound preachy about Incra, but it really has been the most significant addition to my shop and woodworking experience in general. Incra has re-invented the router table. It seems that you are not familiar with their products, and you might want to check out there site... especially the video demos of their products (mostly the router table fences and positioners).

Check out my blog on Incra as well. The Incra system is very pricey and for years I stuck my nose up at it until I discovered what the fuss was really all about.

To answer your question, with an Incra style router table you generally stand in front of it (on the long side, where the drawers and cabinets are) and use it more like you would use a table saw. The fence goes from front to back instead of side to side and so does the miter track.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...A Pile of Potential

This is the exciting start of my new "proper" router table:

Pile of wood… I had the lumber yard cut my plywood to size since it is difficult/impossible to maneuver a full sheet in my shop.



I assembled the carcass with biscuits.







 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
...A Pile of Potential

This is the exciting start of my new "proper" router table:

Pile of wood… I had the lumber yard cut my plywood to size since it is difficult/impossible to maneuver a full sheet in my shop.



I assembled the carcass with biscuits.







I haven't done much cabinet stuff like this but I absolutely love the biscuit jointer. This project is almost just an excuse to use it. Before I would have just used screws from the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
...A Pile of Potential

This is the exciting start of my new "proper" router table:

Pile of wood… I had the lumber yard cut my plywood to size since it is difficult/impossible to maneuver a full sheet in my shop.



I assembled the carcass with biscuits.







Here are the jumbo photos you ordered…

Yes my clamp collection is wondering which giant this jewelry box is for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
...A Pile of Potential

This is the exciting start of my new "proper" router table:

Pile of wood… I had the lumber yard cut my plywood to size since it is difficult/impossible to maneuver a full sheet in my shop.



I assembled the carcass with biscuits.







No, I hadn't thought about it. But I figure cheap ones would be fine… am I wrong? Is there something you recommend?

One thing, though, I know I want locking casters in the front and non-locking in the back. I hate it when the ones you can't reach lock when you want to move it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
Interesting! Thanks, gizmodyne. Check this out...
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
Jeff,

The wheels? Idono. Squishy. Not hard like plastic. That's all that mattered to me.

As far as the chute behind the slanted shelf, that is to create suction along the entire width of the compartment. This will be created by the slit underneath the shelf. It seems to work well so far. I turned on the vac and dropped some sawdust on the middle of the horizontal melamine shelf and they got sucked right under the slanted shelf (and into the chute).

I think the action will be enhanced when the compartment is fully enclosed and the only opening besides the router bit hole will be a vent located on the door. This will create the cross flow of air to push the chips and dust under the slanted shelf and into the chute.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
I am not sure what the wheels are made of. But thanks for the tip. For the relatively low cost I guess I could always get new casters when they ware out. But I know what you mean about the flat spot. I don't think this cabinet will be heavy enough to matter. Mostly I will store router bits, tools for changing bits and fence parts, fence accessories, plunge base for router, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
Yes, the lower vac compartment will need a good vent (or where would the expelled air go). But the router compartment (above) is airtight to control the flow of air and sawdust.

I will try to engineer some sort of muffler, however, so that the noise from the vac does not come out as easily as the expelled air. I would like to make the unit relatively quiet inside the box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Finishing Cabinet Assembly and Dust Collection

This project is really coming together. That biscuit jointer really makes quick and easy work of cabinet assembly. I have never really gotten a chance to use it before.

I ordered an Incra Magni-Lock router plate through Woodcraft. It seems to be on the slow boat. But hopefully it will come at about the time I need it.

Anyway, more chronicles of the progress I made on my day off yesterday:

Here is the cabinet fascia with half lap joinery, 3/4" x 2" Beechwood (the most inexpensive hardwood at the local yard), glued and clamped together:



Yes its true, my clamp collection is used to small jewelry boxes. But I say, work smarter (and cheaper), not harder! So for $15 these ratcheting tie-down straps held the cabinet face securely to the carcass until the glue dried. The whole face was biscuited to the carcass:



The clue has dried and I found some casters I like. They have rubber wheels and a lock that I like for about $11 each.





Finally, the cabinet gets flipped to rest an all fours. Also, you can see I added a melamine shelf for under the router. This slick surface will allow the dust to slide toward the dust collector more easily. At this point I had not figured out how to best direct the dust toward the chute, or where to put the chute.



I had decided that I would use the bottom-left space for a dedicated dust collector. I figured out that I would have just enough room for the smallest Craftsman vac that still has a 2 1/2" hose (the 6 gal model). This will also cut down on noise. I will probably add some noise insulation inside the vac compartment as well. This will be a huge improvement over the vac being outside the cabinet. (Maybe I could insulate the router compartment too?) I may not even need earplugs!



I wired a switch that would simultaneously activate the router and the vac. This gives each there own plug in there own compartment, leaving the router compartment sealed airtight. Their is also a 15 foot cord which powers that switch box. That cord comes out the left side of the cabinet. Notice the yellow cord end in the vac compartment (below) and the black cord end for the router:



The switch is a rocker/paddle style. This is so I can later add a large safety "Stop" paddle. Notice the router table power cord coming out of the left side:



I spent a couple of hours trying different things and thinking about how to best direct the flow of air/dust toward the dust collection chute. I wasn't sure where to put it either. Should it be directly below the router? Maybe over to one side?

Finally I came up with a plan. I decided to create a sloping shelf with a thin, wide opening below it. Under the shelf would be the chute, which is hooked up to the vac. This way any dust which landed on the shelf would fall right down to the opening and get sucked in. I will make a small vent in the sealed router-compartment door which will allow a cross-flow of air from front to back along the slick melamine surface directing dust right to the chute.

So this is the chute (that connector will be installed underneath the hole to connect to the vac hose):



And this is the sloping shelf (Chute is underneath):



(By the way, those corner brackets above are for securing and leveling the table top)



I hope it works as well as it seems like it should. The idea is that if the router compartment is airtight, and air is being sucked out through one hole by the vac, then suction will be created at the only other opening which is right around the router bit. I may also add a second dust collection port which consists of another hose connector on the back of the router compartment (behind the sloping shelf), and a hose which goes from there to the fence (which has integrated dust collection). This way chips and dust will be sucked away above and below the router bit.
Kimball, Thanks but I finished this router table about three years ago. There is an exhaust vent in the back. There is more information about the finished project here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Table top and drawer slides

More progress on the router table…

I installed the drawer slides today. This is only because I intend wanted to put the table top on and it was hard enough to do with the cabinet face already on. I really should have put the drawer slides in first. It took me forever and I had to bend down through the cabinet or reach through the drawer openings to precisely mark, measure, drill and screw the slides in place.

I actually intend to make the drawers later on, but I had to put the slides in now.



As you can see, Incra was anxious to move in! (Especially since I got rid of the old router table.)



With that done, I was able to install the table. I decided to use the suggestions on this page by "floating" the table on weather-stripping foam and then securing it (not tightly) with screws from below on those angle brackets.



Over the last few months I have been trying to figure out how to go about making this router table. I have been weighing the cost/time/quality ratio of buying commercially made components vs. making stuff myself. Obviously, I decided to make my own stand/cabinet. I think the my custom-made cabinet with storage, built in dust collection, noise reduction, etc, was about the same price as some of the commercially made bases which consist of just legs.

For the table top, the commercial equivalent of my table top cost over $250 plus heavy shipping. I found a cabinet maker in town who told me he could make one for me for $80. He used basically the same type of material, five layers of formika and a high quality particle board, pressed perfectly flat in a huge press. The upside, besides the huge cost difference is that I get to make it any size. The commercial tables are only 27" wide. I made mine 32" wide because that is the width of my fence. I didn't want the fence hanging over the edges. The only downside is that I have to rout out my own insert plate hole. No big deal.

I will also be adding a hardwood edge around the table top to seal out moisture and protect it.

Table Top (without finished edge yet):



The Top installed:



Another View (notice power cord also)



By the way, I had some people asking me about my dust collection chute Idea. So I played around in Sketchup a little to illustrate it. Maybe this will help…



It is a cut-away view from the left side of the router table. The red ribbons are supposed to be air flow down through the router bit hole and through the front vent. They lead under the sloping shelf and down the dust collection chute which is hooked up to the shop vac.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Table top and drawer slides

More progress on the router table…

I installed the drawer slides today. This is only because I intend wanted to put the table top on and it was hard enough to do with the cabinet face already on. I really should have put the drawer slides in first. It took me forever and I had to bend down through the cabinet or reach through the drawer openings to precisely mark, measure, drill and screw the slides in place.

I actually intend to make the drawers later on, but I had to put the slides in now.



As you can see, Incra was anxious to move in! (Especially since I got rid of the old router table.)



With that done, I was able to install the table. I decided to use the suggestions on this page by "floating" the table on weather-stripping foam and then securing it (not tightly) with screws from below on those angle brackets.



Over the last few months I have been trying to figure out how to go about making this router table. I have been weighing the cost/time/quality ratio of buying commercially made components vs. making stuff myself. Obviously, I decided to make my own stand/cabinet. I think the my custom-made cabinet with storage, built in dust collection, noise reduction, etc, was about the same price as some of the commercially made bases which consist of just legs.

For the table top, the commercial equivalent of my table top cost over $250 plus heavy shipping. I found a cabinet maker in town who told me he could make one for me for $80. He used basically the same type of material, five layers of formika and a high quality particle board, pressed perfectly flat in a huge press. The upside, besides the huge cost difference is that I get to make it any size. The commercial tables are only 27" wide. I made mine 32" wide because that is the width of my fence. I didn't want the fence hanging over the edges. The only downside is that I have to rout out my own insert plate hole. No big deal.

I will also be adding a hardwood edge around the table top to seal out moisture and protect it.

Table Top (without finished edge yet):



The Top installed:



Another View (notice power cord also)



By the way, I had some people asking me about my dust collection chute Idea. So I played around in Sketchup a little to illustrate it. Maybe this will help…



It is a cut-away view from the left side of the router table. The red ribbons are supposed to be air flow down through the router bit hole and through the front vent. They lead under the sloping shelf and down the dust collection chute which is hooked up to the shop vac.
Thanks for the comments. The top is actually four layers total: formika, particle board, particle board, formika. It is one and a half inches thick. Sorry for the misprint and confusion.

Gizmodyne, the fence will extend from front to back more like a table saw. It is attached to a positioner which extends from the far right and the router plate is offset to the left. It will look like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Doors and Drawers

I would have waited until I made more progress until posting this next one, but since I have been stuck in bed with the flue for three days (and I am good for nothin' in the shop) I may as well post what I've got. The following was done before I got sick.

I am keeping the joinery as simple as possible on this project. I want it to look nice but it mostly needs to be functional. So I used simple grooved "style and rails" for the doors and drawer fronts, with more of that birch ply in for the panels. This way I can just glue the whole thing up and not even have to think about wood movement. I would rather use the time that it would take to do something fancier on another project. This phase of the project was pretty quick.

Here are the styles and rails milled and cut to size:



Here I have cut the grove with a dado blade to accept the plywood:



Making sure everything fits:



Here everything is laid out and ready for assembly:



But wait! Why didn't I just glue 'em up? Well it turns out that in my haste to just get this thing done I made the groves a little too narrow for the plywood to fit without crumpling the birch veneer on the edges. So, measure twice, cut once, right? Well if I widen the grove the rails won't fit the styles. So My only option is to trim a little thickness off the edges of the plywood. Oh well, no big deal.

So when I get to feeling better I will complete that last step and glue the darned things up. Thanks for tuning in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
Doors and Drawers

I would have waited until I made more progress until posting this next one, but since I have been stuck in bed with the flue for three days (and I am good for nothin' in the shop) I may as well post what I've got. The following was done before I got sick.

I am keeping the joinery as simple as possible on this project. I want it to look nice but it mostly needs to be functional. So I used simple grooved "style and rails" for the doors and drawer fronts, with more of that birch ply in for the panels. This way I can just glue the whole thing up and not even have to think about wood movement. I would rather use the time that it would take to do something fancier on another project. This phase of the project was pretty quick.

Here are the styles and rails milled and cut to size:



Here I have cut the grove with a dado blade to accept the plywood:



Making sure everything fits:



Here everything is laid out and ready for assembly:



But wait! Why didn't I just glue 'em up? Well it turns out that in my haste to just get this thing done I made the groves a little too narrow for the plywood to fit without crumpling the birch veneer on the edges. So, measure twice, cut once, right? Well if I widen the grove the rails won't fit the styles. So My only option is to trim a little thickness off the edges of the plywood. Oh well, no big deal.

So when I get to feeling better I will complete that last step and glue the darned things up. Thanks for tuning in.
Well Douglas, you may have noticed that my router table is missing a few things… mainly the router :)

My router plate is still on the slow boat, apparently!

I did plan to use the dado blade to take off a hair from the back side of the plywood but your Idea to scribe it first is genius. I hadn't thought of that yet. I would have torn it up without that little scribe line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Finishing Touches

I've been adding the details as I have had time here and there after work.

I finally got my router plate (Incra Magni-lock) which I had to special order through Woodcraft because as far as I could tell nobody carries it. Woodcraft had to order it from Incra and have it shipped to them before shipping it to me. This is what I got:



I liked the actual Incra router plate better than the woodpecker brand version. And after it finally arrived in the mail I was pretty glad I had chosen it. That magni-lock system is pretty nice. I also ordered the extra ring set. Eleven different sizes in all.

Here are the cabinet doors in place: (I got anxious and installed them before I even sanded them. So I might have to remove the doors to do some sanding later)



Now for the drawers… I got the pieces cut to size (more birch plywood):



Then I started setting up to biscuit-joint the drawers together but it started turning into a nightmare of aligning, labeling, marking, cutting, etc., for each part of each drawer. I love the biscuit jointer. But this time it seemed to be taking more time than saving it.

So I came up with an idea: Cut the biscuit slots all in one pass with the dado blade on the table saw. This way I wouldn't have to worry about marking each biscuit position. I had never heard of anyone doing this before. Have you tried it or heard of anybody doing this? I gave it a test run:





It seemed to work just fine. The single dado blade was the same width as the biscuit cutter. And with the way I set up the fence in relationship to the dado blade I was able to do the edges and faces with the same set up:



The continuous biscuit slot worked beautifully and saved a ton of time. I was able to just tap the biscuits in wherever I wanted and didn't need to do any marking first.





Here is a finished drawer without the drawer front. I made the drawer fronts already but I have to install the drawers in the slides first so I know how to align the fronts. You can also see the first (top) drawer which has already been installed in the cabinet:



I wouldn't recommend this method for fine cabinetry but it sure is practical for something like this.

It will be nice to have the drawers in place. As you can see in one of the above pictures I installed the Incra positioner and fence. I guess I forgot to take pictures that day. The next thing I need to do is work on making a precise template to rout out the resess for the router plate.

Oh, I also forgot to show you pictures of the hardwood edge-band I put around the formika/particle board table top (Sorry). It is 1/2" thick and I screwed and glued it to the edges with epoxy and then plugged the screw holes. That is the first time I have ever used my plug cutter! That is a slick little drill bit. I will take some more pix of some of these details next time I am in the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
Finishing Touches

I've been adding the details as I have had time here and there after work.

I finally got my router plate (Incra Magni-lock) which I had to special order through Woodcraft because as far as I could tell nobody carries it. Woodcraft had to order it from Incra and have it shipped to them before shipping it to me. This is what I got:



I liked the actual Incra router plate better than the woodpecker brand version. And after it finally arrived in the mail I was pretty glad I had chosen it. That magni-lock system is pretty nice. I also ordered the extra ring set. Eleven different sizes in all.

Here are the cabinet doors in place: (I got anxious and installed them before I even sanded them. So I might have to remove the doors to do some sanding later)



Now for the drawers… I got the pieces cut to size (more birch plywood):



Then I started setting up to biscuit-joint the drawers together but it started turning into a nightmare of aligning, labeling, marking, cutting, etc., for each part of each drawer. I love the biscuit jointer. But this time it seemed to be taking more time than saving it.

So I came up with an idea: Cut the biscuit slots all in one pass with the dado blade on the table saw. This way I wouldn't have to worry about marking each biscuit position. I had never heard of anyone doing this before. Have you tried it or heard of anybody doing this? I gave it a test run:





It seemed to work just fine. The single dado blade was the same width as the biscuit cutter. And with the way I set up the fence in relationship to the dado blade I was able to do the edges and faces with the same set up:



The continuous biscuit slot worked beautifully and saved a ton of time. I was able to just tap the biscuits in wherever I wanted and didn't need to do any marking first.





Here is a finished drawer without the drawer front. I made the drawer fronts already but I have to install the drawers in the slides first so I know how to align the fronts. You can also see the first (top) drawer which has already been installed in the cabinet:



I wouldn't recommend this method for fine cabinetry but it sure is practical for something like this.

It will be nice to have the drawers in place. As you can see in one of the above pictures I installed the Incra positioner and fence. I guess I forgot to take pictures that day. The next thing I need to do is work on making a precise template to rout out the resess for the router plate.

Oh, I also forgot to show you pictures of the hardwood edge-band I put around the formika/particle board table top (Sorry). It is 1/2" thick and I screwed and glued it to the edges with epoxy and then plugged the screw holes. That is the first time I have ever used my plug cutter! That is a slick little drill bit. I will take some more pix of some of these details next time I am in the shop.
Dadoo, you are right about the fact that that joint will be weaker. But I think for these drawers it will hold together ok. They will be relatively light duty. And easy to replace if they fall apart.

Spalm, my mallet was close at hand for whacking the parts together and into alignment. I did use it a lot on that project. But that little ball peen was perfect for sinking the biscuits into the slot… they were just a little tight. That hammer is actually one of my favorite tools. It's short handle and small size makes it perfect for when I just need a little localized persuasion. "Tap tap tap."

I promise I won't do the "biscuit slot" again, fellas. But I just want to get 'er done. And it was either that or brad nails through my nice birch ply (which I would like to avoid if possible).

Wait, or the rabbet method, but I didn't think that really worked on plywood? Does plywood hold together with just a glued rabbet??? ...oh I just read your post more carefully… Lock Rabbets or rabbets with nails. Ok, that would hold.

Thanks for the comments and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
Finishing Touches

I've been adding the details as I have had time here and there after work.

I finally got my router plate (Incra Magni-lock) which I had to special order through Woodcraft because as far as I could tell nobody carries it. Woodcraft had to order it from Incra and have it shipped to them before shipping it to me. This is what I got:



I liked the actual Incra router plate better than the woodpecker brand version. And after it finally arrived in the mail I was pretty glad I had chosen it. That magni-lock system is pretty nice. I also ordered the extra ring set. Eleven different sizes in all.

Here are the cabinet doors in place: (I got anxious and installed them before I even sanded them. So I might have to remove the doors to do some sanding later)



Now for the drawers… I got the pieces cut to size (more birch plywood):



Then I started setting up to biscuit-joint the drawers together but it started turning into a nightmare of aligning, labeling, marking, cutting, etc., for each part of each drawer. I love the biscuit jointer. But this time it seemed to be taking more time than saving it.

So I came up with an idea: Cut the biscuit slots all in one pass with the dado blade on the table saw. This way I wouldn't have to worry about marking each biscuit position. I had never heard of anyone doing this before. Have you tried it or heard of anybody doing this? I gave it a test run:





It seemed to work just fine. The single dado blade was the same width as the biscuit cutter. And with the way I set up the fence in relationship to the dado blade I was able to do the edges and faces with the same set up:



The continuous biscuit slot worked beautifully and saved a ton of time. I was able to just tap the biscuits in wherever I wanted and didn't need to do any marking first.





Here is a finished drawer without the drawer front. I made the drawer fronts already but I have to install the drawers in the slides first so I know how to align the fronts. You can also see the first (top) drawer which has already been installed in the cabinet:



I wouldn't recommend this method for fine cabinetry but it sure is practical for something like this.

It will be nice to have the drawers in place. As you can see in one of the above pictures I installed the Incra positioner and fence. I guess I forgot to take pictures that day. The next thing I need to do is work on making a precise template to rout out the resess for the router plate.

Oh, I also forgot to show you pictures of the hardwood edge-band I put around the formika/particle board table top (Sorry). It is 1/2" thick and I screwed and glued it to the edges with epoxy and then plugged the screw holes. That is the first time I have ever used my plug cutter! That is a slick little drill bit. I will take some more pix of some of these details next time I am in the shop.
Darn, I just realized something. Even if I fill the thing with brad nails they are covered up by the drawer slide!!!

OK, so I am just gonna fill those things with nails all they way across. That will reinforce the joint. Maybe even screws with pilot holes? Wow. I wish I had just done that in the first place. That would have really been faster.

Hindsight is 50/50. Live and learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Tedious details... Gettin' there

Here's what I have accomplished in the past week or so…

Drawers:
So last time I talked about my drawer construction and my not-so-orthodox method of "biscuit-slotting" them together (the "don't try this at home, kids" method). I got scolded for that a little, and for good reason. It probably wouldn't have lasted as long. So I ended up just shooting them full of brads to reinforce them since I figured out that the brads would be hidden by the slides anyway.

By the way, here is how the drawers started out:



So I then I [correctly] biscuit jointed the drawer fronts on to the drawers:



I clamped and Glued (this picture is really just to show off some new clamps I got!):



And Here is the result:





OH MY GAWD! I am glad to have that out of the way. So, what's next? Finally, time to get that router plate installed. I have been putting this off because I am a little scared. What reason could I possibly have to punch a big hole in a perfectly good table? Oh yea, it's a router table. Ok, here goes…

I had been agonizing about how to make the template to rout the opening. I have already spent enough money on this project and didn't want to buy one, plus shipping, etc.

The corners of the plate are rounded to a 1 1/2" radius. Ideally they would have been a radius small enough to match one of my template router bits with bearings. That way I could have just made a rectangle template and the router bit would take care of the radius.

But no, Incra had to get all fancy with their 1 1/2" round corners. So creating that inside radius became the next challence. What I did was drill a hole in a piece of plywood with a 1 1/2" forstner bit and carefully cut away the waste so I was left with four corners around the hole that were barely held together (I wish I had taken a photo of that). Then the four corners easily broke apart.

This next picture is the beginning of the template. The two inside pieces are carefully machined to the length of the plate. For the other dimension (width of the plate) I just slid them together until they contacted the plate, which is sitting in between them. Notice my radiused corner pieces sitting near the corners (which I will insert later):



So now, how to join the parts of the template? Hmmmm, how about… MORE BISCUITS!

Ok, now I know what you are thinking. But I actually saw this in a magazine article so it is legit! I used tape to temporarily hold the joints together and then I made the biscuit slot across both pieces.



Then after I glue in the biscuits I will cut the extra half off and sand the whole thing.





Here is the fully glued up template. Notice the 1 1/2 radius corner pieces which I glued in place:



The corner pieces up close:



So when the glue sets up the next step will be to cut off the biscuit excess and sand the whole thing. I will need to especially sand the insides of the rounded corners because I left it a little tight on purpose. I will test the accuracy of the template on another piece of plywood. I will rout out the opening and see how tight the plate fits. Then if I need to do more sanding I can. Once it is the perfect size I will rout the real thing. Wish me luck.
 
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